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E85 dispensers FAQ

In Oct. 2006, UL suspended authorization for manufacturers to use UL Markings (Listing or Recognition) on components for fuel-dispensing devices that specifically reference compatibility with alcohol-blended fuels that contain greater than 15 percent alcohol such as ethanol, methanol or other alcohols.

The following are frequently asked questions related to this decision.

  • What are the concerns with using E85 fuels with UL Listed dispensing equipment?

    Research indicates that the presence of high concentrations of ethanol or other alcohols within blended fuels makes these fuels significantly more corrosive. This may result in the fuel chemically degrading the materials used in fuel-dispenser components, and may ultimately affect the dispenser's ability to contain the fuel.

  • Does this suspension affect UL Listed E85 dispensers

    No. UL has never Listed a dispenser for E85 use.

  • What are the specific "components" that were previously evaluated for use with concentrations of Ethanol greater than 15 percent?

    Prior to Oct. 2006, UL had extended a limited number of certifications to component subassemblies for use within dispensers such as hose nozzle valves, hose assemblies, and swivels and meters.

  • Is UL aware of field failures of fuel-dispensing equipment used with E85 fuels?

    UL has no documented reports of field failures or safety issues associated with UL Listed or Recognized components used with E85.

  • If UL is not aware of specific field failures, why has UL suspended its certifications of components for use with E85 fuel dispensers?

    UL recognized that additional research and certification requirements are needed to adequately address the corrosion concerns related to the use of E85 fuels in fuel-dispensing equipment.

  • What is UL doing to address these concerns?

    UL engineers are actively reviewing current E85 research and meeting with industry and government experts to gather the information required to draft the revised certification requirements. UL anticipates that testing of E85 dispenser components will commence immediately following publication of UL's E85 certification requirements, as they pertain to the use of these higher alcohol-blended fuels in fuel-dispensing equipment.

  • What should be done to address corrosion concerns with E85 fuels used in existing dispensing applications?

    Consideration should be given to the possibility that the fuel has the potential to chemically degrade materials used in fuel-dispenser components, resulting in potential leakage of contents. The local authority having jurisdiction should be consulted to determine how to address the concerns.

  • What options can be considered with existing E85 dispensing installations?

    It is up to the authority having jurisdiction to determine how to proceed. In discussing this with fire department officials around the country, the actions they are considering include (1) allowing the equipment to be used based on a review of specific compatibility data for the products involved, (2) allowing the dispensing equipment to remain in service, but implementing a program of periodic visual inspections to verify that fuel leakage is not present, or (3) in limited cases, taking the equipment out of service until additional supporting information is received. Other solutions may also be identified.

  • What is UL doing to address these E85 concerns?

    UL remains committed to continuing the thorough and broad-based effort necessary to develop the appropriate requirements that will adequately address E85 compatibility issues. We are continuing to work with industry and fire officials to develop a solution for this issue as expeditiously as possible.

  • How can additional information or future updates be obtained on the E85 compatibility issue?

    Future updates on E85 will appear at /Code Authorities/